Local surfers turn up the heat at Merewether Beach
IT'S been a mixed start for Far North Coast surfers in the Newcastle Surfest at Merewether Beach.
Stu Kennedy won his heat courtesy of a last-minute wave with a score of 12.16 (out of a possible 20).
Byron Bay surfer Garrett Parkes dominated his heat with a 15.16, with the next closest surfer Brazilian Luel Felipe on 10.70.
Lennox Head surfer James Wood was in the same heat and came third with a 9.77.
Wood, a regular on the World Qualifying Series, is now eliminated from the competition.
Lennox Head surfer Stephanie Single has progressed to the round of 24 in the Women's Classic after she beat World Championship Tour surfer Alana Blanchard in her second-round heat yesterday.
Single scored 13.07 with Blanchard back in third on 10.57.
She was awarded a wildcard entry into the 6-star ASP-rated event after taking out the NSW Open State title earlier this month.
Kirby Wright wasn't as lucky though, going down in a heat yesterday that was won by world champion Stephanie Gilmore.
Wright is the sibling of WCT and Lennox Head surfers Owen and Tyler Wright.
Kennedy will surf in the second round against Australians Julian Wilson, Cooper Chapman and Dale Lovelock.
Parkes will come up against Australian duo Tom Whitaker and Jordin Watson and Brazilian Jesse Mendes. Current world champion Joel Parkinson will also compete in the second round, along with surfing legend Mark Occhilupo.
Lennox Head surfer Cali McDonagh was eliminated on the opening day.
The teenager will be all the better for the experience and one to watch in the future.
The competition is scheduled to finish on Sunday, depending on conditions.